A slight nit: 

 in the 40 years that Benson has been publishing his book he never, not even 
once, published a head-to-head study of TM vs his "Relaxation Response."

 In fact, the criticisms that were leveled against Keith Wallace's first study 
apply equally well to Benson's research.

 And so, for the past 40 years, comparisons of the effects of two different 
practices were made based on preliminary results of studies that wouldn't be 
published in today's journals.


 When the American Heart Association meditation practices, they compared all 
the research they could find on every practice, including Benson's Relaxation 

 Their conclusion was that only TM had sufficiently GOOD research with 
sufficiently CONSISTENT effects, to allow them to make a recommendation.

 All other practices were given a non-passing grade.


 Remember: that's 40 years of research coming out of HARVARD UNIVERSITY 
couldn't persuade the AHA to endorse Benson's Relaxation Response.


 So... to call Benson the "foremost meditation scientist" is pure BS.

 To say that "TM blew it" by alienating such a "great scientist" is another bit 
of BS.



---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <anartaxius@...> wrote :

 Like you Share, I really did not pay attention to the selling points as I had 
had experiences prior to TM, I was just looking for an easy way to meditate, a 
natural consequence of being lazy.  

 The sell was there in the introductory and preparatory lectures and in 
available chart books supposedly showing benefits from the scientific side, but 
I ignored all that at the time. My first few meditations were really rotten, I 
almost quit right there. 

 But trying to sell TM to friends who are not really into this kind of thing 
proved more of a challenge. None of my friends ever learned, except for a 
couple, and they never finished the course. A few of my family learned, and 
they all quit too.

 I did discover that some of my friends who were teachers, when I criticised 
the quality of the scientific research on TM, would try really had to convince 
me the research was really true. About 1% of research on meditation in general 
is of good quality. Part of that seems to lie with the advertising mentality of 
the TMO.

 Dr. Lorin Roche wrote the following:

 The Relaxation Response is the term coined by Herbert Benson, M.D., in 1968 or 
so when looking at the physiological data he was getting from TM 
(Transcendental Meditation) meditators who were coming to his lab to be 


 Benson soon got tired of our relentless TM zealotry and the way we (TM 
teachers who were working for him) would sign official research documents with 
"Jai Guru Dev." As TM teachers, we wanted to take the results from his lab and 
instantly use them as part of our advertising and our public lectures. TM at 
the time had meditation centers in every major city in the United States, and 
teachers on most every college campus across the country. It was a hugely 
popular movement.


 But Benson needed to be able to "clone" TM, make it into a 
laboratory-standardized technique that could be replicated and measured at 
other labs. That's what science is. So he decided to de-mystify mantras, and he 
started telling people to just pick their own mantra, such as the word, "ONE." 
This scandalized the whole TM movement, but he had to do it. And truth be told, 
as far as I know, Benson in his 30 years or so of research on the physiology of 
meditation, publishing hundreds of scientific papers, is probably the greatest 
meditation scientist ever. I trust his findings.


 In the late 1960's and early 1970's, TM meditators were the guinea pigs of 
choice for scientists, because there were hundreds of thousands of them in the 
United States alone, and tens of thousands in other countries, their training 
was standardized, and they were so well trained that they could come into a 
medical lab and actually MEDITATE while the scientists stuck needles in their 
arms, electrodes on their heads, hands and hearts, and breathe into 
oxygen-consumption measuring masks. It's hard to find people like that! Think 
about it. Who in their right mind would take out part of their day to do such a 
thing? When I used to do this, in the 70's, it meant driving through ugly 
traffic to UCI Medical School, then going into a lab with a thousand rats in 
cages just a couple dozen feet away, the smell of ether in the air, and letting 
the guys in white coats poke me with huge needles and take blood samples while 
I meditated.


 TM blew it, by alienating one of the great scientists at work in the field, 
and by pushing bad science — publishing in their ads the results of trial 
studies. But the Buddhists, by comparison, played it very smart, and gradually 
came to be the favorite of physiological researchers. The Buddhists cheerfully 
cooperated with the needs of scientists, it is a match made in heaven because 
Buddhism is a very clinical take on life anyway.


---In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, <sharelong60@...> wrote :

 WRT TM, I never got a snow job or a hard sell. In 1972, I was student teaching 
in a non traditional high school. One of the other student teachers explained 
the bubble diagram to me. Also during this time, my husband and I were doing 
marijuana approx 3 times a year. I wished that I could have that high in a 
natural way. We also did a yoga class. I caught a cold.


 Now fast forward three years. I'm in Yes health food restaurant in DC. A 
gorgeous young man comes up to my table, doesn't say a word, and leaves a copy 
of Autobiography of a Yogi. I read the book over several months but don't 
understand most of it.

 A few months later I'm visiting my Mom. She comments that I seem so peaceful. 
I'm thinking about taking a Tai Chi class at Univ of Maryland, called The Art 
of Moving Meditation.

 One beautiful day in March 1975, I take my camera to Rock Creek Park. Along 
the way I stop at a grocery store. As I'm leaving, I see a picture of Maharishi 
for the first time. I don't know why, except for the word "meditation," but I 
note the time, date and place of the intro lecture.

 When I go to the lecture at my local public library there are 2 other people 
present. The lecturer is giving out literature. I tell him I don't need the 
literature because I know I'm gonna start.

 And I did. A week before the first Merv Griffin Show. And from the beginning, 
I knew this was what I had been wishing for. 6 weeks later I attended my first 
residence course. 6 months later I came to MIU. All without any snow job or 
hard sell. 



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